HomeBlogResume GuideHow to Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important?

How to Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important?


“References accessible upon request.”

Heard of this one?

The trite, superfluous phrase was all the fashion a long time in the past. These days, you’d barely discover anybody that recommends it.

However what about precise references on resumes?

“Ought to I put references on my resume?” is a typical query you’ll have even requested your self at one level in your profession.

At Enhancv, we try to provide you job search recommendation that will get outcomes. We wish your resume to chop via the noise and land you interviews.


Superior! We’ll information you thru the perils of references on a resume.

On this article, we’ll reply every little thing it’s good to know:

  • Do it’s good to embrace references in your resume or not?
  • How employer use references
  • Find out how to ask for a reference
  • What you probably have no references for a resume?
  • What number of references in your resume are good?
  • Find out how to ship your reference record
  • Find out how to record references on a resume
  • Find out how to format references on a resume with Enhancv
  • Key takeaways

If you happen to’re questioning how one can go about itemizing references in your resume, we acquired you coated.

Let’s dive in.

If you wish to skip the whole article, you’ll be able to browse confirmed resume examples in your job title by clicking beneath. You possibly can see the way it’s gotten professionals in your business outcomes and use it in your personal job utility!



Do You Have to Embrace References On Resumes Or Not?

You’re in all probability considering: ought to I record references on my resume or not?

The overall reply isn’t any.

The reality is, you shouldn’t record them. “References” constitutes an out of date resume section, for essentially the most half. In different phrases, if you happen to’ve written your resume sections accurately, they need to reply the issues the hiring supervisor can be on the lookout for in your resume references within the first place.

The primary objective an employer makes use of references on a resume is to show your resume isn’t a farce (we’ll have a look at this in additional element within the part).

Until the job description explicitly requires you to take action, then you ought to be placing references in your resume. And, normally, that occurs if you happen to’re making use of for authorized or federal jobs.

Apart from that, it’s a waste of beneficial house.

Typically, it’s higher to go away references off your resume and let your potential employer ask for them.


You’ll be answerable for your reference record. Meaning you’ll be able to select essentially the most related referees, decide their order on the record, and provides them a heads-up.

Right here’s the deal:

Your resume is your strongest private advertising software. In case your job search was an NBA staff, your resume can be the MVP.

It’s best to deal with it as such.

When placing references on a resume, they’re usually positioned close to the tip of the hiring course of.

The vast majority of job advertisements don’t request references. Neither do hiring managers anticipate to see them throughout preliminary functions.

So, when are references acceptable?

Let’s see the way it’s like on the opposite aspect.

How employers use references

Do employers even name your references?

In line with a 2019 survey by HR.com, 96% of employers carry out not less than one sort of background verify. Referees vouch in your competence and character.

So, likelihood is they’re going to name certainly one of yours, at a minimal.

Don’t fret, although, it’s a very good signal in the event that they do.

See, the majority of employers do contact references on a resume (or a separate doc) while you make the shortlist. It’s a typical factor that occurs once they’re about to ship you a proposal.

What do they ask your referees?

Primarily, employers are curious about ensuring you’re the superior candidate you appeared on paper and throughout the interview. They’ll wish to learn about issues like your employment dates, efficiency on the job, work ethics, and why you left your earlier employer.

It’s clear it’s good to select your referees fastidiously.

And that leads as much as…

Find out how to Ask For A Reference

Navigating the recruitment funnel is a bit like taking part in chess.

You should be a number of strikes forward to have any probability of getting a proposal. This goes for resume references too.

So, how do you go about requesting references in your resume?

Effectively, it’s good to:

  • Decide who ought to be a reference in your resume;
  • Observe reference-request etiquette.

Each steps are essential to place the percentages in your favor when making use of for jobs.

1. Decide who ought to be a reference in your resume

How do you determine? Effectively, it is dependent upon the circumstances.

Do you presently have a job? Possibly you’re curious about discovering a extra rewarding place or simply seeing what’s on the market.

On this case, don’t record your boss as a reference.

Doing so would possibly put you in danger.

Though potential employers ought to request permission beforehand, you don’t wish to take the prospect of your employer figuring out about your plans.

Are you in between jobs?

Then it’s effective if you happen to record a earlier employer as a reference. Provided that you’re sure they’ll offer you a glowing testimonial, although.

Both approach, choose referees that put you in the most effective gentle attainable.

For instance, If you happen to’re not on good phrases with a earlier supervisor, choose a coworker that may communicate extremely of you.

Keep away from private references as their opinions of you’re biased. Go for skilled references equivalent to your present or former managers, colleagues, professors, and even clients. Listing the newest, related references.

Usually, the hiring managers aren’t curious about referees you’ve labored with 15 years in the past.

2. Observe reference-request etiquette

Okay, you recognize the who. However, what in regards to the how?

What your referees say about it’s best to carefully match or enhance upon what’s in your resume.

Naturally, this implies being conscious of who’s in your reference record. It’s best to have them on deck previous to sending job functions.

Right here’s the way you select your references on a resume:

  • Begin with an enormous pool of potential references (managers, supervisors, colleagues, and so forth.)
  • Slender down the record to essentially the most related and up to date referees
  • Whittle it down additional to folks you’re on good phrases with
  • Now choose those with a constructive opinion of you
  • All the time go together with essentially the most eloquent referees

Finished? Nice!

Now, right here’s the way you ask somebody to be your reference:

  • Contact them nicely earlier than making use of for jobs to allow them to be ready
  • Contact base and inform them about your present scenario
  • Ask in the event that they really feel snug being your referee
  • Allow them to take their time to get again to you

If they are saying no, thank them for his or her time, and transfer on to the subsequent individual.

If they are saying sure, although, present gratitude. Paint a transparent image of what they need to anticipate as your references.

Ship them your resume, the job you’re making use of for, and any useful particulars. Inform your referees that they might get a name, obtain an e mail, or be requested to jot down a suggestion letter inside a month or two.

Now, you know the way to pick referees and request references, which leaves us with one other piece of the jigsaw.

What you probably have no references for a resume?

That’s uncommon, like actually uncommon.

It will be unlucky, however don’t despair.

Most individuals you’ve labored or achieved enterprise with make first rate references. This doesn’t simply apply to the skilled work atmosphere, it additionally works if you happen to’re a pupil or a brand new faculty graduate.

(Aspect word: if that is your first time writing a job resume, you would possibly discover our separate guide here useful!)

As a fast recap, this contains:

  • Shoppers
  • Enterprise contacts
  • Suppliers
  • Household
  • Mates
  • Classmates
  • Lecturers
  • Professors

If you happen to can’t get one skilled reference, private references work too.

These are individuals who can vouch in your character, which is turning into extra vital within the workforce right now.

Can’t try this both?

Recommend a probation interval or freelance work so you’ll be able to show your self. This may be efficient since you’re providing probably nice efficiency at minimal danger to the employer.

No matter you do, don’t pay for somebody to pose as your reference.

What number of references in your resume are good?

If attainable, 5. Nevertheless, three references are the minimal.

Most jobs require one to a few for a resume. However, it’s higher if you happen to had 5 to seven references, particularly if you happen to’re after govt or senior roles.

Whichever the quantity, the record of your references have to be within the order of relevance.

Find out how to ship your reference record

When deciding how one can ship your reference record, you are able to do so by both:

When placing references on a resume, ensure you don’t cramp or pressure issues in. The truth is, resume references aren’t obligatory.

Actually, you probably have a one-page resume, you’re higher off leaving it out.

In spite of everything, it’s valuable house. As we talked about earlier, in case your employers wish to see references, make it clear by immediately asking you to incorporate them.

Find out how to Listing References On Resume

Your resume references aren’t the deciding issue for whether or not or not you land your subsequent job place. That being stated, there are proper and flawed methods for itemizing your references on a resume.

Within the case you wish to embrace references, they need to solely be on the second web page of your resume. In any other case, as talked about, fully omit them out of your utility within the first place.

So, what ought to the resume references part appear like?

Fundamental References Template For Your Resume

Going with a separate record? Right here’s how you place it collectively.

Reference title

Skilled title

Firm title

Road deal with

Metropolis, State, Zipcode

Cellphone quantity

Electronic mail deal with


The deal with is your referee’s, not their firm’s. Guarantee that each element is present.

What to say within the description? Write a few strains stating your relationship with the individual.

A bit uncertain? Right here’s an instance of a reference record in motion:

Elon Musk



1 Rocket Street

Hawthorne, California, 90250

(213) 555-5555


“Elon was my boss throughout my stint at SpaceX from 2007 to 2011. I used to be a part of the staff that launched the primary privately funded, liquid-fueled rocket to achieve orbit.”

Such a fortunate break having Elon as your reference, proper?

Issues could be a lot much less favorable…

The one drawback of utilizing the identical previous resume template for references like that is that it’s generic. Because it’s conventional and the hiring managers are used to seeing it hundreds of instances, you gained’t be making a robust impression.

As a substitute, we’ll present you a stronger various.

Find out how to Format References On Resume With Enhancv

First, flick thru Enhancv’s resume examples and seize a confirmed template in your job place.

Enhancv How to Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important?

Subsequent, you’ll be taken to a web page that guides you thru how one can create a resume in your particular business. Once you land on this web page, click on on the “use this instance” button:

Enhancv How to Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important?


Now you might have entry to a confirmed resume template in your job place that’s gotten candidates such as you employed. You’ll be inside Enhancv’s editor app which ought to appear like this:

Enhancv How to Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important?

When you’ve made it this far, you’re free to rephrase and alter the data with your personal particulars. Constructing a resume like that is a lot simpler than beginning on a clean canvas. To create a resume references part, you merely change the resume part heading to “references” and embrace them.

Right here’s how this will look:

Enhancv How to Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important?

It’s actually easy – simply add their contact particulars. You’re free so as to add a brief description however I don’t suggest it as a result of house is sacred.

Apart from, the data might be proven any via the related resume sections e.g. work experience in the event that they’re achieved accurately.

Once you spotlight key particulars by utilizing colour, it improves the resume format because it’s simpler to skim via. Not solely do you save the hiring supervisor time by serving to them discover what they’re on the lookout for, however they’ll discover the important thing particulars first.

Since references on a resume aren’t obligatory and so they’re solely actually wanted if the hiring managers ask for it, it’s best to exchange this part with one thing else.

One which’s extra significant and leaves a stronger impression in your recruiter…

Let’s have a look at one customized resume part Sebastian has used from Enhancv on our enterprise knowledge analyst resume instance:

Enhancv How to Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important?

While your work expertise part covers the outcomes of your contribution, your achievements may also be used for emphasis.

For the file, achievements are solely certainly one of many different resume sections on the market which you need to use to showcase your abilities or {qualifications}. You possibly can change the heading to certifications or accomplishments – these work too.

Both approach, this makes your success extra vital.

On prime of that, it’ll be a brand new sort of resume for a recruiter to see. When employers see an applicant with a special sort of utility that’s fashionable and inventive, it gained’t be straightforward to neglect who you’re.

That is one cause why Enhancv’s fashionable resume templates excel at getting candidates employed in aggressive job openings.

If employers need proof, that’s once they’ll ask you for a reference.

When this occurs, you’ll be able to relaxation assured you made higher use of the house slightly than together with references.

This isn’t one other plain, black and white, boring resume hiring managers see day by day.

It’s totally different.

And, if you happen to’re seeking to stand out and get employed then I counsel you give this a attempt. Constructing a resume with Enhancv is straightforward and above all, it’s free.

What have you ever acquired to lose?

Key Takeaways

DO: embrace your references in your resume if it’s a transparent job utility requirement made by the hiring supervisor

DON’T: sacrifice house in your resume for a references part when it’s not needed

Keep in mind, it’s your resume utility that will get your foot within the door. Not the one part primarily based in your references – that’s not the deciding issue.

Your references on a resume is a treacherous path that appears deceivingly straightforward to transverse.

However, it’s good to know the who, when, how, and the place to provide you with a very good reference record. And, as you’d anticipate all of it begins with who your references are.

So, you should definitely select your references properly.


Have you ever discovered something new from our information? When you have any questions or something you wish to add, do tell us within the feedback beneath!


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